Film Movement – Year 11 Film 11: Ana Guevara and Leticia Jorge’s “Tanta Agua”

TECHITOSthree-stars15Rarely do feature-length films present me with such rich musings on the coming-of-age period of life while also presenting so little in terms of what is generally thought to be those successful script musts; conflicting plot devices, drastic character arcs, and whatnot.

Through quiet observance and alternating points of views – that of child and divorced dad – Tanta Agua plays more like a hanging out type of movie rather than one driven by plot. We hang out with divorced father, Alberto, his young teen daughter, Lucía, and his pre-teen son, Federico during their rainy vacation.

Those accustomed to watching coming-of-age dramas with more pronounced plots in where a lot of “stuff” is always happening (see the Hollywood machine factory for examples, e.g., “Juno“, “The Way Way Back“, etc.) might find this a bit of a challenge to sit through. It’s low key, slow moving, and at every step of the way avoids clichéd tropes so often associated with the coming-of-age movie types I just mentioned.

This minimal approach to filmmaking does an effective job of capturing one family’s imperfections, frustrations, and resilience. Unfortunately, its lack of having any standoutish moments also means that come two weeks from now when trying to recall any specific scenes or moments that I liked, most likely nothing will stand out. In that sense, Tanta Agua is like eating a single banana on an empty stomach; it’s a guilt-free and satisfying snack, one that sadly, doesn’t leave you fulfilled for long.

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